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J Crit Care. 2008 Sep;23(3):434-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2008.06.006.

Health effects of soda drinking in adolescent girls in the United Arab Emirates.

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First year medical students, Dubai Medical College for Girls, Dubai, UAE.



There is a growing concern in the medical and scientific communities about the harmful effects associated with carbonated soft drinks. In several observational studies, intake of carbonated beverages was associated with reduced bone mass, decreased calcium level in the blood, and increased fracture risk. Soda drinks is a contributing factor in the prevalence and incidence of both dental caries and obesity especially among adolescents and young adults so they are more likely to be diagnosed as diabetic.


This study aims at studying the prevalence of soda drinking among adolescent girls and discovering its health effects.


A cross-sectional study was designed, and a multistage random sample was performed in schools and colleges in Dubai. A total of 275 students were selected. A self-administrative questionnaire was distributed and blood, and urine samples were collected. Anthropometric measures and laboratory investigations (lipid profile, renal function, and blood and urine electrolytes) were done.


Age range was 10 to 22 years, with mean of 16.2 years. Prevalence of soda drinking was 81.8%. About half of the ever-drinkers (47.5%) have tried to quit drinking. There was no significant difference in body mass index between drinkers and nondrinkers (chi(2) = 2.1, P > .05). The concentration of blood sodium was less in drinkers, whereas the concentrations of urea and creatinine were not affected by drinking. There was no significant difference in blood calcium between drinkers and non drinkers (P > .05). Drinkers were associated with higher risk of increased calcium and phosphorus excretion in urine (odds ratio, 1.1; 95% confidence interval, 0.38-3.3).


Soda drinking was associated with higher risk of obesity and decreasing level of blood calcium and increasing urinary calcium excretion, which may lead to osteoporosis later in life. Soda drinking did not have any effect on renal function tests in our study group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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